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More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite by Sebastian Mallaby
Date Finished: December 28th, 2017
Reading Time: Three years
MMTG provides an insider’s take on the history of hedge funds using language that is appealing to the outsider. Sebastian Mallaby presents colorful characterizations (“[Robert Mercer] never recalled having a nightmare”) of the major players behind some of the largest financial undertakings you have never heard about. Extremely detailed research is reduced to a cascade of brilliance–a triumph of tight editing. Sebastian introduces new ideas and debates criticisms without ever skirting myopia. The LTCM and Quantum (George Soros) chapters are especially good, but reading any less than the entire book would be doing yourself a disservice. And this is coming from someone who took three years to finish reading it.
One of my favorite extractions from the novel is that the author Tom Wolfe invested in The Tiger Fund and used his experience with writing the book The Right Stuff to convince a Goldman Sachs analyst, whose father was an aviator, to jump ship to Tiger. This is interesting to me because Tom also wrote The Bonfire of the Vanities, which was a work of satire criticizing 1980s New York with the main character being a bond trader. I can’t help but wonder how Tom’s criticism would play out in an era where one or two hedge funds collaborating closely could destabilize an entire country.